Writer’s Blog Hop Post #1: Goals

Writers-Blog-Hop-150x150Hi everyone!

As I mentioned on Tuesday, I’m participating in a Writer’s Blog Hop hosted by Ruth L. Snyder for the next several weeks.

For this post, the theme is 2015 writing goals.

I’ve already talked about the issues I’ve been having with my voice, so I’m keeping my goals for this year pretty simple. I don’t set word/page/etc goals anymore.

I have a three-part story arc in this universe that I want to finish by the end of 2015. I had a lot of success last year with a three story set in my fantasy universe, and I decided to try the same thing again for a scifi story this year.  I’ll be talking more about that in a couple of weeks.

That project is connected with Redefining Disability, which is the other main goal here this year. I would like to actually run the story analysis posts and discussions I never got to do last year.

And here’s a bit of a preview, for anyone interested.

There will be more on Saturday, January 17th

Adanna 1

Sunday Update: Where I’ve Been And Why the Site Has Been Texturized

This is an old wallpaper I've had on my hard drive. I'm not sure where the image originated. I've seen it on several sites.

This is an old wallpaper I’ve had on my hard drive. I’m not sure where the image originated. I’ve seen it on several sites.

Some of you may have noticed that I’m late with my ROW 80 goals and I haven’t made a Sunday update in a few weeks. You also may have noticed that I’ve been posting a lot of textures lately.

Earlier this year, I had a long-term friendship end rather abruptly. That person resurfaced a few weeks ago, in crisis, then disappeared again the same way she had last time.

A couple of other really important relationships in my life are hanging by a thread right now because of recurrent drug and alcohol abuse or a general behavior pattern where I seem to become the verbal/emotional punching bag whenever there is a serious life problem.

One of my relatives is seriously ill to the point that there has been an ongoing discussion of possible funeral arrangements, and I have two friends whose parents are either in hospice care or battling cancer at home.

I’m tired. I’m fighting a rather crushing wave of depression, and I can’t tell how much is situational and how much is just the fact that I have depression and it tends to be worse at this time of year.

I’m seeking counseling (again), but I don’t know how that will pan out due to insurance issues and lack of transportation.

Redefining Disability2I have a couple of finished blog posts for Redefining Disability, but I haven’t had the wherewithal to do the Roundup I was planning for the 21st. Jen was going to pinch hit for me, but she’s been sick too.  I put something together and it accidentally went live Friday instead of scheduling for next Tuesday.  *facepalm*   I’m not sure what’s going to happen in November, because I do have some finished posts, but I’m not in a position to host discussions right now and that’s what we were moving towards. I may need to call it for the year and pick up again in 2015.

I will still be re-blogging Kerry, Eva, Alli and Shan Jeniah’s posts (and anyone else’s who wants to join the challenge or guest blog for the series ) and I’ll try to start my own responses to the challenge soon either way.  Thank you, ladies, for your awesome posts!

I want to stay active here on WordPress, and I’m trying to keep the blog alive, check in with folks and participate some in discussions. I’m pulling out my old content from my design blog and putting it up now because it’s there and easy to do without having to search or do much to put the posts together. So, if you like textures and fan art, you’re golden. If you don’t, you’ll probably be bored for a while.

The Redefining Disability Project Post #2– On Definitions


 Redefining Disability1

When I started blogging about disability, I found a lot of misconceptions and conflicting viewpoints about exactly what “disability” means. This post is my way of making sure that readers and participants in this project are on the same page. My definitions, language choices, and opinions on this issue are not universally accepted in the disability community. They are mostly in line with progressive social views on disability, but please don’t assume that I speak for everyone.


What is disability?


The concept of disability is a social construct. That makes it hard to answer the question of “what is disability?” Because the definition changes based on cultural models and preconceptions. In our culture, I think people tend to define it as “a biological limitation” or “bodily imperfection.”  That definition is harmful and based on the assumption that some human bodies are “normal” or “function within normal parameters” while others are sub-par and/or broken.


In a recent guest post at Signal Positive, I asked readers to think about what exactly makes a pair of glasses different from a wheelchair or other adaptive equipment.

The answer is that nearsightedness and the use of eyeglasses have been normalized by our culture, but needing to use a wheelchair hasn’t.

RSA Garcia reblogged my recent guest post, and received this comment. It’s a perfect illustration of how our culture views disability.


Hrm. I think that gets into the sociology of how cultures define a disability. I didn’t even think of allergies as one and my kiddo is deathly allergic to nuts. And cats. And dust. I’ve had arthritis since my 20s and have to go to my dermatologist 2-3 times a week. I guess I just think of those things as facts. It’s the baseline I can’t do anything about. I think people tend to think of disabilities as something taken away.


My reply was

Mike, most people I know who have conditions that our culture defines as “disabilities” think of them in the same way that you think of your arthritis or your kid’s allergies. They’re just things they have to manage, not things that define us.

It’s a little more complicated than that, because for some people, having a disability is part of their identity. My disabilities are part of mine, and I wouldn’t want them taken away or cured.  They don’t run my life, though.  They don’t determine who I am or what I am going to do with my life.  I don’t view myself as having “lost out” on being able to walk unaided.  I don’t care if my legs work, as long as I can get where I need to go.


Not everyone feels that way. Some people with disabilities do want to be cured, but I don’t know anyone who wants to be thought of as “less” because their bodies function in an atypical way.


For the purposes of this project, a disability is anything that has a medical or biological origin and substantially complicates or impedes one or more major life activities.

Here are some of the things we’re including under the umbrella of “disability.” The list is not meant to be all-inclusive.

  • We’re including physical disabilities, such as blindness, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy.
  • We’re including cognitive disabilities and developmental delays.
  • We’re including chronic illnesses, acquired injuries, and age-related disability.
  • We’re including mental illness, because mental illnesses all have a biological origin, even when they are related to psychological trauma. Mental illness is related to brain chemistry.
  • We’re including deafness. I know that in Deaf Culture, many people feel that being deaf means that they are part of a cultural/linguistic minority, not that they are “disabled.” I respect that, and I’m not trying to imply that being deaf makes someone “defective.”
  • We’re including autism spectrum disorders. Some bloggers I have read reject the idea that autism is a disability. They view it as simply a way of life, and the argument against using the word “disability” is essentially that autism is a natural part of how they experience the world, not a “problem” that needs to be fixed.

This project takes the view that “disability” itself is not a problem but  a natural part of human experience. All so-called disabilities are natural, even if their origins relate to physical or mental trauma. I don’t equate “disabilities” with problems or limitations on an individual level. The concept of disability is a cultural construct, and the problem is with the society that limits people, not with the individuals whose bodies function differently than the perceived norm.


How does society view disability?


Historically, people with disabilities have been feared, mistrusted, treated as objects of shame and derision, and viewed as less capable or incapable of leading independent, self-sufficient lives. That is changing, but the overwhelming view is still that disability is a “problem” or tragedy that an individual has to overcome.

For more about definitions, check out this post from the original Redefining Disability blog series.


Why are we seeking to redefine the term disability?


  • The Redefining Disability Project exists to challenge these cultural perceptions. It’s the brainchild of blogger and speculative fiction author Rose B. Fischer (that’s me!), but is a collaborative effort that is open to any blogger/writer who wants to participate.
  • Our goal is to move our society away from the perception of disability as a problem, tragedy, challenge, or limitation and toward the reality that disability is a natural part of human experience.
  • We want to help our society recognize and meet its responsibility to fully accept, integrate, and respect individuals whose bodies or minds function outside of established cultural norms.
  • The word disability has some negative connotations. The literal meaning of the word implies a negative. “Not able”or “less able. ”  Out of all the available choices, it’s still the most progressive and meaningful term. It’s politically useful, because the Disability Rights Movement has made it more recognizable and easily understood. Most people will recognize and understand who “people with disabilities” are, even if they have a lot of misconceptions about what that phrase means.
  • Cultural definitions and word connotations don’t have to match up with the literal meaning of a word. Redefining Disability wants to change the cultural meaning of the term disability.


How Are We Seeking to Redefine Disability?


  • We’ll be looking at the concepts of language, connotation, and how story creators can actively impart these concepts without lecturing their audiences.
  • We’ll be looking at ways that parents, teachers, and other people who work with children can use their language and personal experience to help frame these concepts for young folks.
  • We’ll be looking at self advocacy, empowerment, conversation, etiquette, and language choices related to disability.



  • What social definitions/ labels have others applied to you? What definitions or labels have you chosen for yourself?
  • When you hear the word disability, what do you think of?
  • What do you think about current media portrayals of people with disabilities?





A Slightly Longer and Out Of Turn Update

Redefining Disability2Redefining Disability


  • I’ve added a Redefining Disability Project Page. Right now it looks exactly like the Redefining Disability Intro Post, but I’ll be editing it as the project develops. Edited.
  • I’m actively seeking guest posts for the series, and have added Guest Posting Guidelines.
  • I’d like to thank Heather Massey of Galaxy Express and Lindsay Grant for their contributions to the project’s fall line-up and beyond.  (You ladies helped me shape the next 4 months of content. And then some)  I’m so excited about what we have coming!
  • I’d still like to see more bloggers involved with the Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, and I’ll be working on promoting it more in September.
  • I’ll also be working on my own posts for the challenge.

Big thanks also go to Lorraine Reguly of wordingwell.com, Ionia Martin of Readful Things and Tonya R. Moore of signalpositive.com for helping to promote this project in August.  Later this year, I’ll be expanding on the guest posts I wrote for those sites.

Here’s the schedule for the Redefining Disability Project so far.

September, 2014

9/2/14: Redefining Disability Project Welcome Post — Rose B. Fischer.

9/9/14: On Definitions and Social Constructs — Rose B. Fischer.

9/16/14: On Language Choices — Rose B. Fischer

9/23/14: Author Perspectives: My Needs Are Not Special — Rose B. Fischer

9/30/14: Character Perspectives: Thad Malimore

October, 2014

10/7/14: OFF WEEK

10/14/14: Questions to Ask When Writing A Character With a Disability — Rose B. Fischer

10/21/14: A Hot New World Building Tool: the Social Model of Disability — Heather Massey

10/28/14:  Semi-Open Discussion Thread (Subject to change based on participation.) I’d like to get some  reactions to Heather’s post and see what kind of questions or ideas people have about this concept. I have some additional content from Lindsay to share as well.

November, 2014

11/4/14: Character Perspectives: Micah Malimore and Reynard the Fox (Subject to change if we need to folloup more on Heather’s post.)

11/11/14:  Author Perspectives: I Am Not a Wheelchair — Rose B. Fischer

11/18/14: Short Story: War’s End I—Alvarez

11/23/14: OFF WEEK (Happy Thanksgiving in the US.)

December, 2014

12/2/14:  Semi-Open Discussion Thread (Subject to change based on participation.) I’d like to get some  reactions to the example story before I go into an analysis; if I know what people need me to cover it will help me frame further posts.  I’ll be planning to cover things like introducing disability concepts, etc in my analysis posts later on.

12/9/14:   Character Perspectives: The Malimore Kits, Shah, and Empress.

12/16/14:  Character Perspectives: Malimore’s Students

12/23/14:   OFF WEEK (Happy Winter Holidays!)

12/30/14: OFF WEEK (Happy New Year!)


January, 2015

1/6/15:  Story Analysis, Part 1

1/13/15:  Story Analysis, Part 2

1/20/15: Applications of the Social Model: Synn, UE Territories, and Real Life.

1/27/15: Language Comparisons: Synn, UE Territories, and Real Life





Boy, it’s been a heck of a summer. I’m always sad to see the warmer weather go (sorry, Southern folks, I live in a freezer for six months of the year.) but I can’t say that I’m unhappy to see this summer close.

  • In June there was a huge revamp of one of my story-worlds (for like the tenth time, no exaggeration.)
  • Just when I had that figured out and was ready to do some serious work on my writing, I got slammed with a three week headache episode.  That’s somewhat abnormal. I have migraines and cluster headaches, so I’m used to about 9-12 day periods of recurring headaches that cycles from painful but tolerable to excruciating to “just let me pass out now” and back again.


To answer a recent question — sorry I don’t remember who asked — I have food triggers, weather triggers and hormonal triggers, so I’m pretty much a walking headache timebomb.


Random possibly useful tidbit, these folks sent me a link to what they describe as an interactive guide to migraine triggers.  I’ve checked it out and it may be useful.  Not sure how they’re using the word interactive.

  • In the middle of that, I strained my voice, and that’s just getting back to normal, now.
  • What I didn’t mention was how much I’ve been struggling over the summer with survivor’s guilt and issues related to past trauma.  Mid-July into August are typically rough for me, and I thought I was going to do a better job of handling it this year because overall I’ve improved a lot in the last year and a half.  (This blog is one of the things I credit for that.)


Long story short, I decided to start working the 12 steps and since I don’t have access to a good local Al-Anon meeting, I’ve asked some friends to join me. So, because I do all my writing with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, I need to slow down with blogging for the time being.


Going forward until the end of 2014, I’ll be blogging twice a week.


Sunday Updates and Redefining Disability on Tuesdays. I’ll still be around and will hopefully be re-blogging posts from the folks who are participating in the Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge. Kerry plans to post challenge responses on Mondays, Shan Jeniah will be posting on Wednesday Mondays, and I’ll be re-blogging her posts on Wednesdays and I know a couple of other bloggers are going to participate in September but they don’t have regular post schedules for it.


I’ll do my best to have at least one writing related post a month (Wednesdays, for IWSG), and I’ll still be participating in my other blogging groups as I can.


Sunday Update: ROW80 and Redefining Disability, for 7-20-14



I still didn’t make any progress on my stated goals this week. I continued working on my character, Tommy Riley, and the 30 years of his history that I had to reconstruct. I posted about that last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I’ll be wrapping up with one final post this coming Wednesday.

I wrote another 10,000 words of stuff for it this week, and there will probably be more in the coming weeks, which means I am well on my way to having produced enough to fill a book, and it’s all stream of consciousness notes or little snippets of scenes that I can’t actually use in a book. _._


I also want to mention that, Thursday’s for the next 9 months will feature responses to this blog series about roleplay and character development by Natacha Guyot.

Redefining Disability


Redefining Disability

Redefining Disability is an interactive blogging project I developed in order to promote better representation for people with disabilities in the media. If you’re a person with a disability or a creator interested in representation in disability awareness, check out this post for more information and follow my blog for continued updates.

You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

I put together a list of questions and an intro page for the disability awareness blog challenge that I mentioned last week. I plan to begin promoting it in August, but if you are interested in joining now, feel free. And you can start whenever you like.

Guest Posts/Promotional Opportunities

All three of the guest posts I wrote to Redefining Disability have been sent to their host bloggers. I’m scheduled to appear on Wording Well on August 1; Signal Positive on August 3; and Readful Things on August 27th. So, I’ll be looking for one or two more promotional opportunities for the middle of August.

Short stories/Examples10384588_607627142690166_6043201589597472719_n

I have a new idea for the fourth example story. This one, if I can pull it off, would be told primarily from the POV of a child character interacting with Caleb Matthews. I’m not sure how well it will work as examples for Redefining Disability .Caleb doesn’t advertise that he has Autism because doing so might affect his customers’ confidence in him as the town vet. So, the most that would probably happen related to disability would be that Wyatt noticed some “eccentric” behavior in the vet. I don’t know if that counts as “representation.” I’ll give it a try anyway and see what happens.

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

Redefining Disability2

I got this idea from Marci’s 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge.  I was thinking that some of the questions could apply to more than just mental illness, but others might not. So, I recommend checking out Marci’s challenge if you’re interested in mental health awareness  and my questions don’t float your boat.


What is this challenge about?


  • The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge is part of a  an interactive blogging project I developed in order to promote better representation for people with disabilities in the media.
  • While other parts of the series focus on media representation story creation, this challenge is a chance for people to share their personal experiences.
  •  All of the questions relate to your experiences with disabilities, and I’ve tried to phrase them in such a way that they’ll work for people who have disabilities and for able-bodied folks who may have a loved one with a disability or work in a disability related field.


How does it work?

  • There are currently 52 questions. You can make your own schedule and fit them in however is best for your blog.
  • You can answer one question a week,  or blog through them once a day, or answer them a handful of the time if you want.
  • You can answer as many of the questions as applies to you and leave the rest — though I did try to phrase them so that they would be applicable to as many people as possible.
  • The only rule is that whenever you post an answer to one of these questions , please link back  to this blog post .I’d appreciate it if you use  the Redefining Disability banner in your post as well, but I’m not going to be a stickler about that.


What if I don’t blog on WordPress or don’t have a blog?


If you don’t blog on WordPress, it doesn’t matter. Just post your answers to your own blog and link back to this post the same way that you normally would.

If you don’t have a blog at all, but you would like to join in, you can answer the questions in a Facebook note, email me, or use the contact form (or you could create your own blog) .

If  you’re  interested in representation and disability awareness, check out this post for more information about the Redefining Disability Project  and follow my blog for continued updates.

You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.Redefining Disability2

Continue reading

Sunday Update: ROW80 and Redefining Disability — 7/13/14



I didn’t make any progress on the goals I made out for round three this week.

I did write  about 15,000 words of stream of consciousness journaling/notes and another 5000 words or so of new character development to fix the problems I alluded to in Wednesday’s check in on my fiction projects. I’m rethinking how I do a lot of that stuff right now, and I’ll have more to say about that on Wednesday. (Yes, that does make 20,000 words. Not a typo. I wish it was.)

The upshot is that I pretty much derailed my progress on the things I wanted to do this week, and I’m not willing to let that happen again.


Redefining Disability

Redefining Disability is an interactive blogging project I developed in order to promote better representation for people with disabilities in the media. If you’re a person with a disability or a creator interested in representation in disability awareness, check out this post for more information and follow my blog for continued updates.

You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.

New Idea

  • I’m thinking about creating a disability awareness challenge and/or blog hop that would give people an opportunity to talk more about their own experiences and to help keep the stuff here on my blog helpful and focused on media issues rather than anecdotes or debates about language, treatment protocols, etc.
  • I think having a collection of personal anecdotes would be helpful to able-bodied readers/writers, and having them linked in one post (like a blog hop page) would make it easier to keep track and go back to find a thread that someone might want.
  • I’m concerned about having things end up confusing for an able-bodied audience that has little to no context for the language debates or issues related to treatments, and I want to talk in more general terms in my posts, but there’s a lot of stuff I wouldn’t be able to cover and a blog challenge where I invite people to answer specific questions or share their opinions and experiences in relation to their disabilities might help give room for people to talk about what is important to them and allow others to follow along. It would also be a better way for me to give other people the floor instead of trying to speak to everyone’s experiences and present every side to every argument.

If I did that it would run as a corollary to the topical posts I’ve talked about already.

I’m open to thoughts, suggestions, and questions about this idea.

Guest Posts

Two of my three guest posts to promote the project were sent off to their host bloggers this week. The third should be sent by next Sunday.

Short stories/Examples10384588_607627142690166_6043201589597472719_n

I wanted to have at least one example story that used a realistic setting (these as opposed to the kinds of fantastical ones I typically write.) The examples I have are all either science fiction or fantasy, and they rely on genre conventions. That’s not a problem for me, but it might be for some writers who don’t enjoy speculative fiction, and spec fic engages with disability in ways that are somewhat different from story set in the “real” world. Things like discrimination, poverty, medical treatments, employment, and romance are handled differently in spec fic. Stuff like this is either a non-issue or its exaggerated to make a point.

So far, my ideas for a realistic setting story haven’t panned out. I do have one or two other ideas that would probably work as short pieces and I think I may just go with one of them for now and add more examples in the future since this project will probably be in the works for a long time.